In a move that’s unusual for a premium automaker, Mercedes-Benz is offering incentives on its new A class in Germany. Dealer sources said that Mercedes’ starter package offers a 535-euro ($669) discount to private buyers while its fleet package comes with a 445-euro discount. Mercedes is doing this as part of a strategy to convince consumers to make the shift after having bought their cars from BMW and Audi in the past. In September, Mercedes will commence the deliveries of the A class premium compact car to European showrooms. The launch in China is slated for next year. It will start selling in the U.S. in 2014. Internal documents indicate that this new product is targeted particularly at BMW 1 series customers, according to Mercedes' German sales organization.
Mercedes is relying on the A class in its plan to wrestle the luxury-car leadership from BMW, says Autonews. It also hopes to fend off competition from Audi. Dealer sources said that the hatchback is aimed at those who already have the BMW 1 series and Audi A3 as well as those who are considering the new VW Golf, which will be launched this November. Mercedes made the A class to be sportier to attract the younger generation.
Its outgoing model was styled like a minivan. Order books for the A class have already started. Its prices begin at 23,978 euros ($30,267) in Germany while the BMW 1 series starts from 21,900 euros and the Audi A3 is priced from 22,500 euros. Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes head of sales and marketing, said that the company estimates that over half A-class customers will make the shift. Market researchers JATO Dynamics said that A-class sales declined by 17.6% last year to 87,920 in Europe. BMW 1 series sales fell 8.9% to 106,923, while Audi A3 sales decreased by 17.7% to 137,253.